An Open Letter from the Internet Governance Caucus to the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon

Your Excellency,

The Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus (IGC) congratulates you on the completion and imminent delivery of your report and recommendations on the desirability of the continuation of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), based on formal consultations at the IGF in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

We request that in the interest of an open and transparent process, and in accordance with established practice, these recommendations be made available to the annual session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) in May 2010.

Our request is in line with the views expressed by several government delegates at the open consultations on the IGF held in February 2010, to the effect that your report and recommendations should be presented to the CSTD before being considered by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and then by the UN General Assembly.

The CSTD is formally mandated to engage with all issues of follow up from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and its specialized knowledge and history of engagement with WSIS issues, including the IGF, will provide the best basis for an informed consideration of the issue by the ECOSOC and the UN General Assembly.

The CSTD also provides relatively greater multistakeholder involvement than its parent body, ECOSOC, following its "strengthening ... taking into account the multistakeholder approach" (Tunis Agenda, para 105) pursuant to ECOSOC decisions 2007/215, 2007/216, 2008/217 and 2008/218.

We also respectfully remind you that your report on "enhanced cooperation" which was presented to the ECOSOC has been referred by the ECOSOC to the CSTD for its prior consideration. This suggests that ECOSOC would normally prefer CSTD's views on issues of WSIS follow up before it considers them.

Absent any reason for a departure from established practice, we therefore believe that your report and recommendations should be presented to the CSTD to enable widest possible discussion
and engagement of all actors with this very important issue.

Thank you for your consideration of this suggestion, for your leadership, and for your ongoing support of civil society's participation at the Internet Governance Forum.

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